Space tourists on the ISS are given extra time to enjoy space

Space tourists-astronauts of the Axiom Space 3 mission, who spent tens of millions of dollars for a two-week stay on the International Space Station (ISS), received additional “free” days in space due to bad weather conditions on Earth at the place of their planned landing.

The crew of Ax-3 on board the ISS. Photo: Axiom Space/NASA

SpaceX has announced the postponement of the Dragon spacecraft’s scheduled undocking from the ISS on Tuesday due to ongoing adverse weather conditions off the coast of Florida. The AX-3 team, which includes private astronauts Walter Villaday, Alper Gezeravci and Marcus Wandt, as well as professional astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, remains in a good mood, and they will willingly wait for the weather to improve for a safe return to Earth. 

The crew arrived at the ISS on January 19 and was supposed to leave the orbital outpost last Saturday. But the departure was postponed due to an unfavorable weather forecast. The new departure date of February 8 was chosen based on the final assessment of weather conditions.

Delays are not unusual for astronauts returning from the ISS. They often accept them with gratitude for the opportunity to spend extra time in space. Ax-3 crew members can use the extra days to conduct scientific research, help other astronauts, or just enjoy being in orbit.

The first private mission of the Axiom Space astronauts in April 2022 also experienced delays due to weather conditions, which led to the crew staying in orbit for almost a week longer than planned.

Earlier, we showed the flight of Crew Dragon with the Axiom-3 crew over the Himalayas.

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